Bill Faulkner's Liner Note: In Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner's Gavin Stevens thinks, "The past isn't dead. It's not even past." It's certainly true of this music, and in that spirit I will look back to some July gigs that I hope will have a happy future.
Bourbon Street Parade: On July 6, I went to Restaurant Row, to Bourbon Street (346 W. 46th St.) to welcome Jon-Erik Kellso, Dan Block on clarinet and tenor, John Gill on banjo, guitar, and vocals, and Kelly Friesen on bass at their debut performance for a proposed series of Sunday brunches. The hall was spacious, the band inspired, the food excellent. Check Jon-Erik's website, www.kellsojazz.com., for further announcements!
Lots O' Fingers: Another pleasure was meeting the French stride wizard Olivier Lancelot, who touched down here for a moment, appearing at the Hot Steamed Jazz Festival and then moving down into Manhattan. I didn't get to hear him duet with Dan Levinson at Smalls (138 W. Tenth Street, off Seventh Ave. So.), but pianist-connoisseur Bill Dunham, who leads the Grove Street Stompers, compared him to Dick Wellstood. I did see Olivier play solo at Roth's Westside Steakhouse (630 Columbus Ave. at 93rd St.) where his range was phenomenal -- from Waller to "Somethin' Stupid" and "Do-Re-Mi" in stride -- and his ease impressive. We were sorry to see Olivier leave, but his new CD, Lancelot and His Chevaliers, helped us deal with our loss.
The Ticklin's Terrific: Ehud Asherie, who is my private idea of The Next Dick Hyman, has been playing late Sunday-night duets with the Lester Young-inspired tenorist Vito Dieterle at Little Branch, Monday night solo gigs at Roth's, Tuesday night duets there, and Thursday night duets at Smalls. His August partners (an incomplete list) are Harry Allen (August 5, Roth's), Jon-Erik Kellso (August 19 at Roth's, 28 at Smalls), and Howard Alden (August 12 at Roth's; 14 at Smalls). Previous partners have included Michael Hashim, Randy Sandke, and Vince Giordano. (I don't know which instruments Vince brought with him. Perhaps he restricted himself to his tenor guitar and voice.)
Shakin' the Afrikaan: Vince and the Nighthawks continue to dazzle multitudes every Monday (three sets) at Sofia's Restaurant located in Club Cache, at the Edison Hotel, 221 W. 46th St. For reservations, call (212) 719-5799, (718) 376-3489, e-mail Vince at email@example.com. Visit his site, http://www.myspace.com/VinceGiordanotheNighthawks, for updates.
A Different Drummer: Last I heard, Kevin Dorn had moved on from Thoreau and Emerson to studying Herman Hesse, but he always marches to his own beat, as does the Traditional Jazz Collective. That singular band will be at the Garage (99 Seventh Ave. So.) on August 8 (10:45 p.m.- 2:45 a.m., which sets some record for precision), and at Cafe Steinhof in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on August 13 (10:30 p.m.-1 a.m.).
Exactly Like Them: The Cangelosi Cards attract a more devoted following every time they play. The remarkable singer Tamar Korn and the ingenious Jake Sanders will again assemble a congenial group to play for dancers on August 9 and 23, from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. at Grace (no cover charge), 114 Franklin Street in Tribeca.
Hustlin' and Bustlin' for Louis: David Ostwald's Gully Low Jazz Band/Louis Armstrong Centennial Band sustains us all on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:15 p.m. at Birdland. (Ostwald84@aol.com). You can expect to find, among others, Jon-Erik Kellso, Ed Polcer, Vincent Gardner, Wycliffe Gordon, Dion Tucker, Dan Block, Anat Cohen, Joe Muranyi, Ehud Asherie, Howard Alden, James Chirillo, Alvester Garnett, Kevin Dorn, Marion Felder and surprise guests.
Are You Regular? The EarRegulars, that cunning quartet-plus-friends created by Jon-Erik Kellso and Matt Munisteri, has recently enjoyed the company of regulars and sitters-in Danny Tobias, Harvey Tibbs, Andy Farber (a standout on flute), John Allred, Pat O'Leary, Todd Londigan, Chris Flory, and Dan Block, among others. Its home is The Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street, every Sunday from 8-11 p.m. The Inn is a landmark in itself, as you can learn from a visit to www.earinn.com.
In the Groove at the Grove: Bill Dunham's Grove Street Stompers continue their extended run at Arthur's Tavern at 57 Grove Street, every Monday from 8-11 (www.arthurstavernnyc.com), and in July a whole Japanese traditional band paid them a visit with stirring results.
And . . . Warren Vaché has been leading a quartet every Thursday from 7-11 p.m. at Lana's Restaurant and Lounge in Clark, New Jersey (732-669-9024). Lana's also has jazz on Fridays. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with "Lana's" in the subject line.
The free traditional jazz concert series launched by the Louis Armstrong House Museum, "Hot Jazz/Cool Garden," which takes place in the museum's Japanese garden, will conclude on Sunday, August 24, with an appearance by the Red Hook Ramblers from 1-3 p.m. During this performance, tours of the Louis Armstrong House will be only $5 a person. For information and directions, visit www.louisarmstronghouse.org. (If you haven't seen the house with its custom-made turquoise kitchen, you haven't lived.) To learn more about the band, check out http://www.myspace.com/redhookdixieramblers.
Way Down Yonder in New Jersey: The Jersey Jazz Society continues to host wonderful events. On August 18, Dan Levinson's Palomar Quartet (Mark Shane, Matt Hoffmann, Kevin Dorn, and Molly Ryan) will be back. Cornetist Dan Tobias will lead a quartet featuring Vinnie Corrao, Frank Tate, and Jim Lawlor, on Wednesday, August 20, at the OCC Library. The Society has events planned up through December. Check their site (www.njjs.com.) for details.
On the last Thursday of every month, the Constitution Jazz Band (with Bruce McNichols, Simon Wettenhall, Herb Gardner, and other stalwarts) plays for a "Dixieland Buffet" at the Silvermine Inn and Tavern (www.silverminetavern.com.), 194 Perry Avenue, Norwalk, CT (203-299-5474)
Two busy players, Dan Levinson and Cynthia Sayer, teamed up for a free concert on August 5 (12:15- 1:15 p.m.) at the Greenwich Commons in Greenwich, Conn. Check out www.cynthiasayer.com and www.danlevinson.com. for many more gigs.
Jazz Moves Us: On November 2, cornetist Ed Polcer and vocalist Judy Kurtz will run in the New York City Marathon, with all the money raised to go to the Jazz Foundation of America to establish a fund for long-term care. They deserve our support! Visit www.jazzfoundation.org to learn more. To make a donation, you can either contact Ed: email@example.com, or go directly online to JFA. Indicate that the funds are directed to "Polcer/Kurtz Marathon."
Please send news for this column to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. But the days dwindle down to a precious few, so any information has to reach me before the fifth of the month to be included in my next column. Since musicians often don't know their gigs a month in advance, check their websites and get on their e-mail lists to know it all!
Check out my blog, "Jazz Lives" at http://jazzlives.wordpress.com, for more jazz news, commentary, and on-the-spot photographs.